HMS Bulwark

HMS Bulwark

The proud Flagship of the Royal Navy and the nation, HMS Bulwark flexes her amphibious muscle to respond quickly to crises and world events. 

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HMS Bulwark returned to UK waters in December 14 after leading the Response Force Task Group through a hugely successful Cougar 14 Deployment to the Mediterranean and Middle East.

As is usual for the Fleet Flagship, the operational tempo planned for 2015 is set to be equally as demanding. Highlights include: high profile international and UK representational duties, rounding off the year with the annual Cougar 15 deployment.

Following some maintenance alongside in Devonport, HMS Bulwark is making final preparations to commence an intensive period of Operational Sea Training to ensure she remains at 5 days notice to respond to contingent operations worldwide.

Royal Navy flagship’s new captain


HMS Bulwark Latest News

HMS Bulwark wins efficiency award for third year running

The Senior Service recognises the best ships and units of the past 12 months

Navy salutes the Surface Fleet of 2014

See all news for HMS Bulwark

Current operation Alongside in Devonport

Currently alongside in her home port of Devonport Naval Base.

Location Plymouth

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Unit History

The First Bulwark1777

The current assault ship is the seventh RN warship to bear the name in a history that stretches back to 1777 but despite her naming, the keel was never laid and she was later cancelled.

The Second Bulwark1807

The second Bulwark made it through build and was launched in April 1807, and served for almost two decades, seeing service in the American War of 1814-15. She was broken up in 1825.

The Third Bulwark1859

The next Bulwark suffered a similar fate to the first – laid down in 1859, her build was put on hold, and she lay dry until being dismantled in 1872.

The Fourth Bulwark1860

The fourth, a wooden first-rate 121-gun battleship, made it to launch in 1860, notched up her steam trials in 1861, but was never completed for sea.

The Fifth Bulwark1899

The fifth, a 15,000-ton twin-screw battleship, was launched at Devonport in 1899, and claims the Antarctic explorer Capt Robert Falcon Scott as one of her commanding officers.


She also suffered an ill-fated end off Sheerness in November 1914 – while loading on ammunition an internal explosion tore the heart of the ship apart, killing all but 12 of the 750 ship’s company.

The Sixth Bulwark1948

The 22,000-ton light fleet carrier, launched in June 1948, was the last holder of the name. She saw service in the Suez Crisis before being modified to a pure helicopter commando carrier in 1959.

The Rusty B1976

She retired in 1976 , but returned in 1979 as an anti-submarine warfare carrier – living up to her nickname 'The Rusty B', drawn from her motto 'Under thy wings I will (t)rust'.

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Commanding Officer Nick Cooke-Priest

Commander Nick Cooke-Priest

Rank: Captain

Commander Nick Cooke Priest joined the Royal Navy in November 1990. He took command of HMS Bulwark on the 20th January 2015.

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HMS Bulwark can carry 256 troops, with their vehicles and combat supplies.

HMNB Devonport

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